Olympia Branch Blog Posts

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Devilish Trails for Halloween

Many hikers in Washington state have encountered – to their dismay – the prickly spines of devil's club, Oplopanax horridus, a shrub which grows in abundance in the Pacific Northwest as well as near Lake Superior. While the origins of the name of this bane of bushwhackers seem quite obvious given its notorious thorns, Washington state is home to many more "devils". In honor of Halloween, here is a sampling of the "Devils" in our state, from north to south. Read more…

Introducing the Paul Wiseman Memorial Bench Peaks Badge - Olympia Branch

On August 27, 2019, the Olympia Mountaineers dedicated a memorial bench on the Olympia Waterfront to branch founder Paul Wiseman. Now, we're introducing the new peaks pins badge in his honor. Read more…

Leader Spotlight: Ginger Sarver

For our Leader Spotlight this month we talked to Ginger Sarver, a volunteer leader with the Olympia Branch who loves hiking and dove head-first into leading stewardship activities with The Mountaineers! Read more…

Did You Know? Teely Creek Trail

The Teely Creek trail has much to offer hikers: fishing, camping, swimming, geocaching, and a relaxing atmosphere amidst an old growth forest. Read on to learn more about this incredible area, and how you can make the most of your trip if you decide to explore the trail.  Read more…

Alpine Ambassadors Squamish 2.0

Alpine Ambassadors,  a group of climbers looking to push their limits together, learn from the mentorship of guides and highly accomplished climbers, and mentor others, held our second “rock” trip in the world class climbing mecca of Squamish, BC in July 2019. Spending six days (in a row) climbing in Squamish exposed us all to new techniques, rope systems, and climbing areas in a truly contagious learning environment. Together we pushed our  limits, challenged our abilities, and progressed as climbers. Read more…

Olympia Mountaineers Annual Banquet - Oct 26, 2019

The annual banquet is a special yearly event where students, graduates, instructors, and leaders from our Olympia Branch courses and activities come together to celebrate another great year of adventuring in the great outdoors. Read more…

Did You Know: Tatoosh Ridge Trail

This summer I’ve been slowly marking off the 100 hikes that Ira Spring and Harvey Manning published in their second edition of 100 Hikes in Washington: South Cascades and Olympics. I completed my 41st as we hiked to the site of the former Tatoosh Ridge lookout on Tatoosh Peak, made famous in Martha Hardy’s book Tatoosh. This hike is neither for the faint of heart nor the causal hiker. It is steep, with some exposure and drop-offs that leave one wondering, “What am I doing this for?” Read more…

Help Expand Our Conservation Education & Advocacy Impact

The hard truth is that public lands legislation is complicated, victories can be slow, and our public lands are chronically underfunded. The threats to these places are becoming increasingly urgent, and our ability to respond to issues – and thus create space for you to engage – is limited by staff capacity and funding. In order to provide more opportunities for outdoor recreationists to learn about and understand the issues facing our public lands and become an even stronger voice for threaten landscapes, we need to bring on a staff position focused on public lands advocacy and engagement. To make sure we not only keep our footing on this precarious ground, but also find ways to play offense and not just defense, we need your help.  Read more…

Join Us at the 2019 Refuge Outdoor Festival

Refuge Outdoor Festival is a 3-day camping experience geared toward people of color. Introduced in 2018, Refuge is "centered on building community through outdoor recreation, conversations (community talks, workshops), music, and art that appeal to a diverse and inclusive audience." The Mountaineers signed on as a sponsor of Refuge because we know affinity spaces are important places to build connections with each other and the outdoors, and we'd like to invite you to participate in this year's festival on behalf of The Mountaineers. Read more…

Top 10 Trip Reports of Summer 2019: Part 1

Unsurprisingly, The Mountaineers community takes an astounding number of trips all around the Pacific Northwest in the summer months, and many of those yield great write-ups and photos.  That makes aggregating reports for these Top-10 posts a lot harder. After looking through every report dated between June 1 and July 31, I pulled out the best of the best, which left me with about 50 reports - way too many to turn into a top-10 list. Therefore, I dub the reports below the "best of the best of the best." Read more…